GAPP Social Media and Membership Coordinator, Lydia Moore , June 02, 2022

Marketing Deep Dive into SEO and SEM



SEO is a concept many marketing or communications specialists know, but do we truly understand each and every step that goes into effective and strategic SEO? In the past year, GAPP has begun working with our PR firm, Ketchum, on our SEO and SEM strategy. Why? Because our mission is to increase awareness and demand for Wild Alaska Pollock, and this is just ONE way off of a long list of efforts we deem important in doing so.

Need a debrief? Well, GAPP looked into it for you! So, keep reading below.

 

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is the concept of optimizing a website in order to get traffic. The goal of SEO is to get your website ranked high on the list (think of the first search results page on your preferred browser). Landing on that first page means a company or organization uses best practices to optimize like a) implementing main keywords your target user searches for, b) improving the user experience to make finding content quicker, and c) writing unique, keyword-focused content that is integrated throughout all your assets (both written and visual).

 

What is SEM?

SEM stands for search engine marketing. SEM is a marketing practice to get traffic from both paid and organic (unpaid) searches.

One of the main SEM strategies is PPC or pay-per-click advertising. PPC occurs when an advertiser (or company) pays a publisher or browser (AKA Google, Safari, Firefox), every time the link is clicked on. The PPC model is beneficial because it allows the opportunity for advertisers to advertise to a specific audience searching for content similar to theirs. Investing in PPC and relevant keywords can mean greater clicks, which in return can mean even higher profits or awareness!

 

Best practices for optimizing your website for SEO

  1. Write Compelling Titles and Meta Descriptions
    Composing titles that are exactly what your target audience is looking for is vital. Crafting the correct language included in the page titles and meta descriptions (highlighted below) is key to gaining clicks. Relevant keywords integrated into both of these elements are needed for your audience to feel they are making the right decision by clicking on your website.



  2. Optimize Images
    What does it mean to optimize your images? There are a few things: quality, alternate text, and image file names.

    First and foremost, let’s talk about quality- one of the most important aspects. Quality is incredibly important in today’s day and age as technology allows for high-resolution imagery that looks like the photo was taken right in front of you! The key to quality though is finding the perfect in-between. Why? Because if you choose massively large files, it can often make the loading speed of your page slower and reflect poorly on the quality of the speed of your website. So, investing in software or a web app (ie: Adobe Creative Cloud) can assist you in resizing images and finding a happy medium that balances quality and loading speed.

    Second: Alternate text (alt-text). Alt-text is used to help visually impaired users, but can also be a great tool that search engines utilize to correctly index (or read) your webpage to determine if it is an accurate fit for the user searching the web.

    Third: image file names. Image file names/titles of your file are just as important as anything else, especially if used correctly. One handy trick is using hyphens in your titles so that search engines can read the image file name and provide it as a result in the “image search” section of your browser results, as well.



  3. Improve User Experience
    How can you improve your user's experience? Many methods could not be covered in one article, so we’ll break it down to a few overall concepts.



    Determining call-to-action
    is important because they act as a signpost, next step, or direction for your user to take next to find the information they are in search of. (Examples: “Register Here”, “Learn more”, and “Download Here”.) Also, simple features like optimizing navigation are vital as they provide the user with an easy flow of steps needed to achieve what page they need to visit. Ultimately with navigation, the key is to not make the user think too much, or get too bored- which plays into the next element- design. Utilize colors, design, and branding that achieve the mission of your brand. Don’t have tiny text that will make your user exit your site due to difficulty reading information. Also don’t crowd your site with endless imagery and text. Leave some white space and assure things are clear and accessible, leading the user to where their eyes should be to get what they need.




    Use Internal Links- Using internal links is one of the more minor ways to optimize your SEO strategy. An internal link is any link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Users and search engines use links to find content on your site. Just like users use links to browse or navigate through your site to find the content they want to find, search engines do the same.






    Simple, Strategic URLs- Concise and strategic URLs are important because they simplify and make web pages more usable for your user. They also increase trustworthiness and reduce confusion, as many users look to the URL in search of a valid, easy-to-remember element that helps them come back to the desired webpage.

 

 


                           


Above, you can see that Gorton’s Seafood is utilizing SEM to their best advantage, running paid features and ranking high on the search engine results list both paid and organic. Let’s look more in-depth into it so we can align the above result with the typical SEO/SEM model. From the short and strategic URL to the compelling title “It’ll love you right back”, and the strategically composed language in the meta description that clearly depicts keywords that consumers are searching for, Gorton’s does a fantastic job of creating a deliberate, consumer-focused strategy.

 

Now that you’ve gotten a breakdown of what matters most in SEO and SEM, it’s time for you to undertake an SEO and SEM campaign! But really, this is an amazing opportunity for businesses or organizations to grow awareness and demand for their company. It provides more eyes on your page, more eyes on your mission, and more eyes on your values. So, utilize SEO and SEM, you won’t regret it and may come away with some success stories like GAPP has had over the last few months as we work to continue to build awareness and demand for Wild Alaska Pollock products and the Wild Alaska Pollock fishery.

 

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